No matter how anyone tries to slice it, this week is going to be a letdown. After a week of building up to playing Southern California, Boston College now sets its eyes on the next game - Maine.
Freaking Maine. A state that's barely a state. A state that in the 1800s was part of Massachusetts. A team that plays at the FCS level and is coming off of a loss to Bryant (who five years ago had a heated rivalry in football.....with Bentley in Division II). Maine.
Let's not kid ourselves here. Last week at this time, we were all wondering how many points the Eagles would lose by on Saturday. People were saying Steve Addazio couldn't get it done, that he was maddening as a head coach in ways the Temple and Florida people said he would be. People were talking about benching Tyler Murphy. People were saying BC would win two games, lose a whole bunch, and we weren't even talking about anything related to a bowl game.
And then Saturday happened.
The hardest part about the win over USC is going to be the turning of the page. The Eagles head into this week simply so they can come out on Saturday and play a team that isn't very good in comparison. But in the spirit of Steve Addazio, that's exactly what we're going to try and do. Maine is a paycheck game, a team accepting payment to come to BC and lose. That's not hubris. That's simply the facts. But that's why they play the games, and for what it's worth, we'll need to at least look at this week and wonder aloud about what to look for out of Boston College as they hunt for win #3.
Weekly Storylines (Bruce Springsteen Edition)
Born to Run. I know it's painfully obvious, but Boston College is a team that's born to run. We saw it last year with the power running game behind Andre Williams and we saw it on Saturday with the multiple option set put forward by Ryan Day. It's time we all accepted it and embraced it. BC is going to run an offense that barely throws for 100 yards a game (if that), so let's enjoy the complex formations and options employed by the offense. BC's quarterback is more running back taking snaps than he is man looking to throw. So let's see what else they can work on as they get up for Saturday's game against the Black Bears.
Tenth Avenue Freezeout. This might be one of Bruce's most underrated songs, and it comes from the same album as Born To Run (entitled Born to Run). The song tells the story of how he put the E Street Band together, and it's known as the song that historically serves as a tribute to the Big Man, Clarence Clemons, during live shows. I've always found Bruce talks about the motley crew of the E Street Band and how they all come from diverse backgrounds. He's a big fan of how they all worked hard together as a unit. Boston College isn't the most glamorous team in the NCAA. There are teams on paper that are much better, and people LOVE (and I mean REALLY LOVE) hating on BC. But yet BC always perseveres. Steve Addazio is our Bad Scooter, and he's putting the band together. It might not make sense (not a single Bruce fan nor Bruce Springsteen himself can actually tell you what a tenth avenue freezeout actually is), but in the end, it puts out some legendary products.
The Rising. I remember when Bruce released The Rising in 2002. It was dedicated to the 9/11 attacks, and it came out at a time when the people of New York needed the message he was going to provide, even if they didn't know it. This song ranks as probably the deepest one, to me anyways, that he's done. And the song itself talks of the surreal, desperate environment he finds himself in during the aftermath of the attacks. The song's verses trace a dire situation, the most dire circumstances, before harkening imagery of the first responders and religious iconography. Writers hailed it as an Easter-like feeling, the feeling of rising above the ashes of a terrible situation. It's about overcoming.
College football is far from what we saw on 9/11, but let's think about this. Boston College has risen from the ashes of the Frank Spaziani era, the crumbling of a once-proud program. Steve Addazio has reached in and grabbed Boston College football, and he's brought it back to a spot of national prominence. From Andre Williams to the USC game, the Dazzler's made BC the big dog once again. And he's done it while stressing what's important in life - faith in one another, fighting for each other, all while getting ready to change the world in the manner of a "BC Man." I'm reminded of that because we just honored Welles Crowther last weekend, which is where I take the look at 9/11 (obviously Spaz is not 9/11 here). Let's not make honoring Welles or Pete Frates a one-time thing where it should be an everyday thing. Let's rise up and conquer what's in front of us through their messages. If it's on a football field, in a boardroom, or in the most dire of circumstances, let's all be aware of what supporting BC entails, what it means to be of service to one another in any forum. In a sports world craving a feel-good story, Boston College can rise and be that beacon. That's what Daz continues to stress, and that's probably the biggest thing we can take out of this victory.
Matchup Fun Facts
School: University of Maine
Nickname: Black Bears
All-Time Record: 569-413-33
Claimed National Championships: 0
Playoff Appearances in FCS: 7
Postseason Record: 3-7
Conensus All-Americans: 44
Record vs. FBS Schools: 2-11 (9-7 vs. Miss. State in '04; 24-14 vs. UMass in '13)
Head Coach: Jack Cosgrove
All-Time Record: 122-122
Years at School: 22
Head-to-Head with BC
All-Time Series: BC leads, 4-3-0
Streak: BC, 4
Last BC Win: 2012 (34-3 at BC)
Last Maine Win: 1915 (14-0 at Maine)
First Meeting: 1913